BlackBerry’s offering to the upcoming tablet onslaught will retail for $499.99, which barely keeps RIM CEO Jim Balsillie’s promise that the PlayBook would cost under $500. The leaked Office Depot price sheet specifies that this price will be for the 16 GB PlayBook. This puts the PlayBook at exactly the same price point as Apple’s iPad with the same amount of storage.
RIM is also offering 32GB and 64GB PlayBooks, and if its price structure continues to mirror Apple’s, the versions with more memory could be expected to cost $600 and $700, respectively.
Office Depot’s leak also included a rough release date for the PlayBook, somewhere around the very end of March or very beginning of April. This will give the tablet a head start on HP’s recently announced TouchPad.
The PlayBook is being marketed as an enterprise-friendly device, offering pairings with BlackBerry smartphones, corporate data access, and increased security over what the iPad offers. But RIM is also attempting to draw in consumers, with features like a 3 MP front-facing camera and 5 MP rear-facing camera (both HD), a 1GHz dual-core processer, and a 7-inch LCD screen with 1024 x 600 resolution.
Check back to TabletPCReview for updates on the PlayBook as they become available.